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Amanda James

Being and Seeing Differently

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music" Nietzsche

We are alll different, in all sorts interesting ways, and thats what makes life fascinating and intriguing, We all have a wide range of like's, dislikes and opinions on almost every subject you can imagine.

Appreciating these differences is one thing, trying to be within our personal and professional relationships will sometimes have its challenges, as will our chance meetings with others going about our daily chores and recreational pass times.

Maybe the key is to accept and respect our differences, if we can embrace our differences with tolerence then we could build better relationships, no one would ever want to enter into a brainstorming meeting with everyone having the same ideas and all going in the same direction.

"Everyone has two eyes but no one see's the same view"

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Amanda James

Appreciation for what you have

Take a moment now and scan through your life, notice which memories or parts of your life that you feel appreciation for, I'm guessing that its something that happened rather than something that you purchased.

We are not usually focused on what we have, more often than not we are focused on what we don't have, If only I had a better job or that promotion I went for, if I only had a bigger house, If only I had a better car, a state of most of the time, wanting more, but some of the people who have all of the things, that we think we need are not less stressed or have higher self esteem levels and cope with life better than we do.

People who can appreciate what they have are more satisfied in their relationships with their family and friends, they have lower levels of stress hormones helping to improve their general health, lower blood pressure, stronger immune systems and are generally happier within themselves.

Appreciation can be learnt, look around you, find the silver linning, instead of looking at what you haven't got, look at what you do have, you may not always be able to control what happens in your life, but you do have the choice in how you handle the situation when it arrives,

Recently I came across by accident a video on YouTube called Brightside, be grateful for what you have, by Igor Kalashnikov,  It starts with a helicoptor flying above a yellow sports car, the man in the car is looking up wishing he had the helicoptor, as the clip focuses to the left of the screen, there's another man sitting in a red 4 wheel drive vehicle looking at the yellow sports car, wishing he had the sports car in his life. The video moves to a man in a blue saloon car and a man in a small 2 door car both wishing they had bigger and better vehicles. Eventually you see a man riding a bicycle wishing he just had a car to drive and then a man waiting at the bus stop for his bus, he to wishing that he just had a bike to ride. The last shot in the clip is of a man sitting on a balcony, looking down on the street below wishing he had the mobility to walk that street, He was in a wheelchair. The freedom to walk whenever and wherever we wish, is something that most of us forget to really appreciate.

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Amanda James

Are you Listening?

Listening = "To give one's attention to a sound"

Steven Covey said "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply"

Listening in any language requires focus and attention, we use our ears to receive individual sounds, our brains then convert these sounds into messages that mean something to us. Its a skill that some of us need to work a little harder than others to achieve, hearing is the act of taking in sound by the ear, LISTENING however is what we consciously choose to do.

45% to 50% of a typical day is spent listening and immediately after we listen to someone, we only recall about 50% of what is said. We listen at 125 - 250 words per minute, but think at 1000 - 3000 words per minute.  

Effective listening helps to resolve conflicts, builds trust, inspires people and strengthens relationships, spending time being in the present moment and really listening you will truly absorb the information that is being given to you, good listeners are perceived as being more intelligent.  

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Amanda James

What is MBSR

What is MBSR? It is an evidence based 8 week course, generally the weekly session are 2 hours long with a committed daily practice time of 30/45 minutes per day, 5 or 6 days per week, It offers training in Mindfulness practices, these practices (include: mindful breathing, mindful movement, body scan and other simple mindful techniques) when learnt, can help people to cope with stress, anxiety, depression and pain.

The course is designed on the original MBSR programme that was developed in the 1970's by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn, it was then used to treat adults suffering from both mental and physical chronic pain that was a side effect of illness.

Today it is a practical and experiental course, giving its participants the opportunity to build committed regular mindfulness practices, learning both formal and informal types of practice.  The different practice skills can then be used long after the 8 week programme has been completed. It helps to form new patterns of thinking and build new healthy lifestyle habits,  assisting in changing the way that we react to our real everyday life pressures and ultimately lowering the health risks that are associated with high levels of stress. 

It seem that some of us are forever living life in the fast lane that we somtimes forget to check in with how we actually are, how we feel phyisically, emotionally and mentally. Mindfulness helps us to focus our attention on the "right here, right now" and live in the present moment.

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